MarocMama

eat well, travel often, dream big!

Thai Red Curry Rice Bowl

Red Curry Rice Bowl

 

The weather here has gone from warm to hot in just a matter of a few days. I feel like we’ve bypassed spring completely and are going to have a long, hot summer. Yesterday, the kids went swimming for the first time this year – and probably the earliest time of the year they’ve been in a pool! I don’t know what it is but as soon as it gets hot my appetite takes a dive. I have no desire to spend time in the kitchen over the stove. It’s been wonderful having a wide variety of produce all year long but there’s even more the warmer it gets. Most vegetables here are eaten cooked but I’ve always preferred them raw – so this creation combines a little bit of everything. If you have leftover rice preparing it will be even easier.

Thai Rice Bowl

 

Ingredients

Directions

Trim beef of excess fat and slice into thin strips. Marinade in Thai Red Curry simmer sauce for at least an hour but as much as 24 hours.

To assemble the bowl first peel and slice all vegetables. The presentation is very nice when everything is a similar size and style of cutting but it’s not critical.

In a skillet heat 2 Tbsp of sesame oil and add a layer of pre-cooked rice. Don’t stir the rice, wait until the bottom gets a little brown and crispy.

Build the bowl by adding rice to the bottom.

Grill the meat or cook it in a skillet. You won’t want to overcook the meat – just look enough to cook through. Overcooking will lead to tough meat.

Add the meat on top of the bowl and then add the vegetables around it. Drizzle any extra sauce from the pan to the top. Eat hot!

High Atlas Mountains

 

I’ll leave you today with a picture of the High Atlas Mountains in late spring. The snow is still capping the highest peaks while the lower elevations have changed from dusty brown to green cover. Flowers are blooming and crops are being harvested. This is my favorite place in all of Morocco!

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Afghani Chicken Pulao

Earlier this week I made an Afghani inspired chicken pulao dish that was a delicious hit.  Truth be told, before we moved to Washington DC in 2007, I had never eaten Afghani food. I had never met a person from Afghanistan. Like many people our only connection to the country was the on-going war. I have a brother in law who was stationed there several times and friends of course but that was as close as it got. My first brush with Islam, was through the sordid tales emerging from Taliban Afghanistan (not a pretty picture). Then in Washington DC we found there was a halal kebab shop around the corner from our apartment. Naturally we checked it out and were surprised to find out the owners were from Afghanistan. I can remember meeting the wife of the owner and having this realization that all I knew was so wrong.

We ate at the restaurant regularly. I feel in love with the soft tandoori breads, spicy chickpeas, and savory meat buried in flavorful rice. We drank pots full of tea and enjoyed Indian films dubbed in Pashto or Farsi. When we left DC we sought out Afghani food wherever we traveled – yes we loved it that much! I began cooking things at home and we’d always find our memory wandering back to that tiny kebab shop in Alexandria. My kids have grown up eating food from around the world, somehow the troubles of war and the world haven’t reached deep into our little cocoon yet. They know their uncle went to war in Afghanistan, they also know the kind men and women who fed us and became our friends. I like to think, actually I pray that my children will know a person is a person no matter where in the world they are. That bad things happen not because of a dot on a map, or a religion – but simply because bad things happen because of people who have bad ideas.

I’ve always believed once you eat a meal with someone, you’ve shared a part of life that will always be remembered. Food is what brings us all together – it makes us human!

This is my favorite Afghani meal, chicken pulao. I always imagine eating it on a colorful Tajik carpet surrounded by chattering women and steaming cups of chai, and of course a few handfuls of tandoori bread.

Afghani Style Chicken Pulao

 Ingredients

2 lbs chicken breast
1 cup chicken broth
2 small potatoes
2 tomatoes
2 cups long grain rice
2 large onions
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp salt and pepper
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
Pinch of saffron
2 large carrots
½ cup yellow raisins
1 cup green peas
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Pistachios and/or almonds (optional)

Directions

Chicken
Wash chicken and trim excess fat.
Cut into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.
Toss with the following spices; salt and pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom. Crush saffron between your fingers and add to the chicken.
Mix together to coat all of the chicken.
Wash and peel potatoes and cut into bite-size cubes.
Cut tomatoes in half and grate to remove pulp.
In a large pot (or pressure cooker), add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and turn heat to medium.
Add chicken and brown.
When chicken has been browned, add tomato pulp, potatoes and 1 cup of chicken broth, as well as 2 cups of water.
Cover the pot and cook for about 45 minutes until potatoes are soft and chicken is tender.

Rice
Rinse rice very well until water runs clear.
Use your favorite cooking technique (stovetop or rice cooker) to prepare. If you’re unsure, add rice to a pot, and add 3 cups of water. Cook on low until the water is almost gone.
Turn off the heat and place a towel between the pot and the lid. Leave the pot alone to steam.

Onions
Remove the outer skin and cut onions in half. Cut as thin as possible.
In a frying pan add 2 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp vegetable oil.
Cook the onions on low heat until they are caramelized.
Vegetables: While the onions are cooking you can prepare the vegetable topping.
Peel the carrots and use your vegetable peeler to create strips of carrots. Set aside.
Shell peas and set aside.
Once the onions are cooked, remove them from the pan with a fork or slotted spoon, leaving any liquid in the pan there.
Add 1 Tbsp butter to the pan as well as the carrots, peas, and raisins.
Cook on low heat until tender (8-10 minutes). If dry, add 1-2 spoons of the liquid from the chicken.

Assembling the Dish
Spread rice out on a large plate and top with chicken and potatoes as well as ½ of the liquid remaining.
Next add the cooked vegetables and raisins, and finally the caramelized onions.
Drizzle with the remaining liquid.
Sprinkle nuts on top if desired.

Some tips to lighten it up the dish – opt for a brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice. But whatever you do, don’t omit the butter. This recipe will easily serve at least 6 people and is mostly good for you. You could swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes or leave them off. Any combination of vegetables work so use what you have on hand!

 

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Moroccan Lamb and Fig Tajine

A few months ago we went to have dinner at Ksar Essaoussan in Marrakech. It’s a riad that has been remade into a restaurant, and unlike many riads here, has no rooms for guests – it’s purely somewhere to just enjoy a good meal. Just finding it was an exercise – and we’re quite familiar with the winding streets of the old medina. Thankfully each night a man in a red cape is posted on Bab L’kssour to show guests just how to get to the restaurant. The ambiance was incredibly nice and the food really well done. We had a variety of salads and tajines presented. But, the shining star was a lamb and fig tajine. The figs were sweet, falling apart and perfectly mixed with the more savory sauce of the tajine. I’ve made a similar tajine with prunes and beef with apricots – but never with figs.

Figs and Almonds

The first job was to find figs. They’re readily sold here dried and are inexpensive. But there’s two kinds, a more local variety and Turkish figs. I wanted the Turkish kind because they’re bigger and I like the flavor better. Once they were secured it was off to the kitchen. One hint on using dry figs, you’ll want to slice each one open and check inside to make sure there are no worms. While this isn’t likely, it’s good to double check.

This dish looks really complicated and even fancy but with just a pot and a pressure cooker, you can make this!

Lamb, Fig, and Almond Tajine

Lamb and Fig Tajine

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs lamb pieces
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic (as fine as possible)
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated, fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • pinch of saffron threads, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • small handful of cilantro
  • 10-12 Turkish dried figs
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup almonds
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • In the bottom of a pressure cooker, add olive oil. Rinse pieces of lamb and remove any excess fat. Add the lamb to pressure cooker and heat uncovered until it begins to brown.
  • Add garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, saffron, and cilantro. Mix well.
  • Cover the meat with enough water so that it's almost completely submerged.
  • Close the pressure cooker and heat on low to medium heat for 45 minutes.
  • While the meat is cooking boil the almonds in water for 5 minutes so that the skins become loose and can be removed.
  • Drain the almonds and set aside.
  • In a pot, add the figs and cinnamon and just enough water to cover the figs. Turn the heat to medium and allow to simmer.
  • While you're waiting for the figs and meat, prepare the almonds. Squeeze the almond between your thumb and forefinger to remove the skins.
  • Lay the almonds flat on a baking tray, and slide into a low over for 10-15 minutes. You do not want to cook the almonds, just to remove the excess liquid - this will help them fry better.
  • After the meat has cooked for 45 minutes, release the pressure and check it. The lamb should be tender and falling apart. You should also have a thicker liquid remaining in the pot.
  • If you have a lot of liquid keep the pan on the heat and cook it down. Scoop 3-4 Tbsp of liquid into the pot with the figs.
  • The figs are ready when they are soft and can easily be torn apart. Once they are at this point, stir in 1 Tbsp of honey and adjust the liquid, adding more cinnamon if it's overly sweet.
  • In a frying pan add a thin layer of vegetable oil and slowly fry the almonds until they just turn brown.
  • Remove using a slotted spoon and drain any excess oil. Toss lightly with a little bit of salt.
  • To arrange the tajine, place the meat in a large serving dish (like a tajine bottom) along with the liquid. Place the figs on top and drizzle the liquid from the figs all over the dish. Lastly, sprinkle the almonds on top.
  • Eat by scooping up with crusty bread.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2014/04/moroccan-lamb-and-fig-tajine.html

Fig and Lamb Tajine

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95 Egg-cellent Dishes!

95 Eggcellent Dishes

My kids have grown a new love for eggs. This is great because here, we can buy fresh egg every day for pennies – literally. Last week my youngest decided he didn’t want what we were having for dinner, so off he went to the hanut, a very small “corner store” found everywhere here. He came back minutes later with 2 eggs and a small loaf of bread. For 2 dirham (about 20 cents). I quickly made them for him and he was content. I’ve appreciated eggs even more since moving to Morocco. They’re cheap and filling and can be prepared so many ways.

In honor of my new found appreciation for the humble egg, here are 95 ways to prepare them!

The Egg Stands Alone

Eggs on Toast Fancified
Bite-Size Bacon, Mushroom, and Gruyere Quiche
Home Pickled Eggs
Deviled Eggs with Capers and Parsley
Baked Eggs in a Basket
Hilary’s Heavenly Eggs
Eggs in Chili Clouds
Siracha Deviled Eggs with Microwave Potato Chips
Bruschetta Baked Eggs
Avocado Bacon Deviled Eggs
Mushroom, Leek, and Goat Cheese Mini Quiche in Phyllo Cups
Spicy Deviled Eggs
Individual Veggie Quiche Cups
Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs
Baked Eggvocado
Southwest Deviled Eggs
Red Russian Kale, Tomato, and Eggs Baked in Ham Cups

 

Breakfast Eggs

Potato Latke Eggs Benedict
Hawaiian Scrambled Eggs
Bacon and Spinach Breakfast Pizza
Harissa Breakfast Scramble
Cilantro Crème Fraiche with Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled Qunioa Omelette with Veggies
Chard and Saffron Omelette by Ottolenghi
Bacon, Egg, and Toast Cups
Scrambled Egg Breakfast Crepes
Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs
Farmer’s Market Puffed Omelette
Crispy Hashbrowns, Eggs and a side of Bacon
Hashbrown Waffle with a Fried Egg
Queso Blanco Egg Sandwich
Omelet Breakfast Burritos
Pesto Spinach Omelette
7 Minute Breakfast Burrito
Baked Ranchero Eggs with Blistered Pepper Jack Cheese
Mexican Breakfast Casserole
Waffle Eggs Benedict
Tex Mex Scrambled Eggs
Egg, Cheese, and Mixed Greens Breakfast Muffins
Eggs Jeanette

Lunch or Dinner Eggs

Shakshuka with Summer Squash and Goat Cheese
B.L.A.T. Omelette Wrap
Easy Curried Eggs
Shakshuka with Feta and Cilantro
Shakshuka
Moroccan Kefta and Eggs Tagine {Guest Post}
Vanilla Bean Floating Island
Korean Ham and Eggs with Chile Maple Sauce
Eggs Toscana
Asparagus and Eggs
Quail Egg, Potato, and Merguez Tortilla
Healthy Huevos Rancheros
Poached Eggs with Polenta, Braised Kale, and Pancetta
Salad Lyonaisse
Tuna Lemon-Aioli Bruschetta
Ervilhas Guisadas (Portugese Braised Peas with Eggs and Chourico)
Eggs over Polenta
Shrimp and Veggie Egg Drop Soup
Curry Fried Rice with Hard Boiled Eggs
Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce)
Salsa Egg Tacos
Rustic Egg Salad

Frittata, Quiche, and Strata

Easy Vegetable Frittata
Turkey Club Quiche
Spinach Tomato and Feta Frittata
Cheesy Baked Egg Tart with Tarragon, Tomato and Zucchini
Roasted Vegetable Crustless Quiche with Basil and Pine Nuts
Mini Frittatas with Potatoes and Greens
Roasted Red Pepper and Egg Tarts
Apple Cheddar Frittata
Huevos Rancheros with Smoky Spicy Guacamole and Grain Free Tortillas
Potato, Ham, and Cheese Crescent Mini Quiches
Zucchini and Green Chile Quiche
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bars
French Fry Frittata with Chipotle Chorizo Sauce
Mini Quiches with Carmelized Pears and Gorgonzola
Crustless Vegetable Quiche
Elegant Individual Quiche
Sweet Onion, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese Quiche
Farm Fresh Vegetable Quiche
Individual Spinach Frittatas
Mexican Sausage and Cornbread Strata
Ham, Spinach, and Mushroom Quiche

Casseroles and Baked Dishes

Southwestern Breakfast Bake
Mexican Omelette Pie
Make Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas
Bacon and Eggs Breakfast Bake
Paleo Breakfast Casserole with Broccoli Rabe, Chicken Sausage, and Shallots
Healthy Omelette Crepe Style
Baked Eggs in Spicy Sauce
Duffy’s Delight
Bacon & Escarole Custard
Baked Eggs in Bread Bowls
Moroccan Skhina or Dafina
Kefta Mkawra (Egg and Ground Meat Tagine)

Whew! That’s a lot of eggs!!  Have a favorite way to prepare them or a link to a great recipe? Leave it in the comments.

P.S. MarocBaba and I are in Finland this week. We’re heading to Porvoo tonight – check out Finland’s second oldest town! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for pictures during our trip too!

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Jamaican Lamb Curry and Roti

Jamaican Lamb Curry

 The end of December is here and that means it’s time for my Around the World in 12 Dishes post. Every month, a group of bloggers (and anyone else who wants to participate!) make food from a specified country.  This month we’re visiting Jamaica! I’ve never been here, but it’s really high on our travel wish list. After taking a Caribbean cruise last year, we fell in love with this part of the world.

The hardest part of participating in our monthly food travels is finding ingredients. Morocco has a lot of really great spices and produce but it’s hard to find any international ingredients. If you can find them, they’re usually priced very high. I wanted to make something with plantains because we all love them, but the only way to get plantains is to find a connection with the West African migrant community here and they’re more than $1 for each plantain. They must hand carry them here. Just as a point of reference, I can buy 1 kilogram of bananas for less than $0.50. So the plaintain idea went out the window.

Next we discovered that Jamaican food has an Indian (from India) influence. I knew we’d struck gold.  We LOVE Indian food and I can get almost everything needed to make most things. I decided to make a curry. But of course there’s no curry leaves here. I managed to find a recipe that didn’t require them (I therefore don’t know if this can officially be called curry!) I bet you know how this goes, I couldn’t find some of those ingredients either, so I substituted with Mama Deacon Jamaican Jerk seasoning.  Before we left the US, Yollande the owner of Afro Fusion Cuisine sent me a bottle of this spice mix. I’ve used it a few times to season chicken but this was my first time really incorporating it into a recipe. Let me just say, this spice mix is really good. I found a lot of spices in the US were not fresh and really had little flavor. No, this one is awesome!

I loosely based my recipe for Lamb Curry and Roti off of these recipes.

I can’t say how the original should have tasted because I’ve never had it but my recipe got big thumbs up. M helped me mix the roti dough and cook it, while K was happy to dig in to fresh bread and lamb (his favorite food). M ate plenty of bread but he doesn’t like lamb so no comments from him.

K and Jamaican Roti

Jamaican Lamb Curry

Ingredients

  • 1/2 kg lamb pieces
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (or curry seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more adjust for heat)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • handful of chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Wash and trim fat from lamb pieces.
  • Peel and chop onion and garlic into small pieces.
  • In a pressure cooker add vegetable oil, onions, and garlic and simmer on low heat for 3-5 minutes.
  • Mix in seasoning, ginger, salt, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
  • Add just enough water to stop the spices from burning.
  • Add the lamb pieces and enough water to cover the meat completely.
  • Place the lid on the pressure cooker and allow to cook on low to medium heat for 45 minutes.
  • Release the steam valve and remove the lid. If the lamb is tender and falling off the bone it's ready.
  • If you have excess water, return to the heat with the lid of the pressure cooker removed and boil down the liquid.
  • Your final dish should have a thick sauce, almost like a gravy remaining.
  • Serve with rice and beans and roti - top lamb with fresh chopped cilantro.
  • **You can also make this in a slow cooker, add all of the ingredients at one time, add 1 1/2 cups water and cook on low 6-8 hours. Transfer liquid to a pan and boil down to a thick gravy.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/12/jamaican-lamb-curry-and-roti.html

Check out the other participating blogs to see what they have been cooking up:

Around the World in 12 Dishes

Adventures In MommydomAfterschool for Smarty PantsAll Done Monkey,Crafty Moms Share,Creative World of VaryaGlittering MuffinsHere Come The GirlsKid World CitizenMaroc MamaMermaids’ MakingsThe Educators’ Spin On It

If you try a dish from Jamaica, we’d love to hear about it! And don’t forget to download this month’s placemat and passport!  You can also link up your dish or craft here to share your post on all the participating blogs:



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#WeekdaySupper Coke Chicken and Twice Baked Potatoes #FamilyDinnerTable

Not only did I get to participate in a very cheesy #SundaySupper yesterday, but I’m also joining #WeekdaySupper this week! The theme we’re tackling this week is SUPER quick meals.  When we lived in the US I was the queen of quick lunches and dinners, but here in Morocco it takes a little more time and planning to make a meal. There aren’t the numbers of canned or boxed convenience items (let alone full meals) to shortcut steps.  I’ve managed to “speed prep” by doing a few things.  I like to cut and chop my produce as much as possible ahead of time. This saves a lot of time. Also when recipes call for baking, I convert them to the stove-top. Part of this is out of necessity as our oven isn’t really made for baking things a real long time. The third tip, is to use a slow cooker.  That’s what I did with this recipe.

Coke Chicken Prep

This recipe was submitted to American Family’s e-cookbook compilation and as someone whose sole vice in life is Diet Coke, this had to be the one I made.  Not to mention, any corner of the world you’re in (and I mean any – we once found Coca-Cola at a Bedouin camp on the Algerian/Moroccan border in the middle of the Sahara Desert) you have access to this convenience item.  The original recipe called for making the chicken and then baking it – which you could do but if you’re in a hurry that’s not going to work. The ingredients are simple; a can of regular Coke, a 1/2 bottle of BBQ Sauce, and Chicken.  The potatoes are baked, the flesh scooped out and mixed with cheese, butter, some cream, and bacon bits then the potato shells filled and popped into an oven until the cheese has been melted. But, I made it even easier for those crazy weeknights when all you have is 15 minutes to get dinner on the table.

15 Minute Coke Chicken

Here’s your play-by-play to get this meal from the stove to your table in under 15 minutes.

Prepare the meat

This can be done the morning of, night before, or much further ahead of time and frozen.  Whichever you choose, slice chicken breast into small, thin pieces and add to a Ziploc bag, along with 1 can of Coca Cola (you could use cherry Coke or lime Coke for a different flavor) and 10-12oz of a tangy BBQ sauce.  Seal and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.

Potatoes

Did you know you can bake potatoes in your slow cooker? Just wash and wrap them up in aluminum foil and pack into your slow cooker set to low.  Then let them be for 8-10 hours and they will steam to baked perfection.

Assembling Dinner

You’re home and the 15 minute countdown has started. Begin by adding the chicken and all of the liquid in the bag to a large skillet and turn to medium high heat. Flip your oven to broil.  While this heats up, remove the potatoes. Split them in half, scoop out the flesh into a big bowl and mix in butter (about 1-2 Tbsp per potato), shredded cheese, salt and pepper to flavor, and 1 Tbsp 2% milk or heavy cream per potato.   Mix together, eat a spoonful to check for taste, adjust salt and pepper if needed, and then distribute the potato mixture among the shells.  Place on an oven safe pan and sprinkle cheese and bacon bits on top for good measure. Place under the broiler.  Check on the chicken, stirring as needed and lowering heat if the liquid is reducing before the meat is cooked through.

Keep an eye on the broiler! Once the cheese is melted remove immediately!

Then it’s onto the side dish.  Any green vegetable works – I opted for steamed broccoli. Steam as normal, toss with some butter and lemon juice.  I also mixed in some nuts for a little added texture.

Finish up the chicken.  At this point you should be 12-13 minutes in and the meat cooked through, liquid reduced to a sauce. Dish up those plates as the last few seconds tick away!

That wasn’t bad was it?!  The best news – my family LOVED this! I think yours will too.

Want to find some other great dinner ideas? Follow AmFam’s Back To the Family Dinner Table Pinterest board. Also be sure to follow their Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts for more great ways to get your family back to the table.

Know where else you’ll find great recipes?  By visiting the other #WeekdaySupper contributors this week!  Let’s face it, we can all use tips for 15 minute meals!

AmFam Back To The Family Dinnertable Logo   Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.

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#SundaySupper Cheddar Popcorn Soup for the #FamilyDinnerTable

Cheddar Popcorn Soup

This week is the third in a series of events that has Sunday Supper joining up with American Family Insurance to gather around the #FamilyDinnerTable.  Today’s theme centers around our favorite food group – cheese! It wasn’t until we moved to Morocco that my boys and I realized just how deep the love of cheese ran in our veins. I grew up in Wisconsin, where we’re very proud of our dairy heritage. Did you know that Wisconsin is the only place in the United States that has a Master Cheesemaker certification? The University of Wisconsin-Madison operates this program for veteran cheesemakers who have at least 10 years of experience in the field and then must complete the 3 year program. We take cheese seriously!

WI Cheese

When you see the Wisconsin Cheese seal you know you’re getting a high quality product.  There are few meals that cheese doesn’t pair with (well at least that’s my opinion!) Here are some of my tips for buying and using cheese in your meals;

  • hard cheeses can be frozen.  Varieties like cheddar, firm mozzerella, colby or pepper jack can be frozen then thawed to use.  Stock up when there’s a sale and always have it on hand.
  • Soft cheeses like goat cheese can elevate a sauce by adding creaminess and flavor.
  • Fruit and cheese mixed together can be a wonderful treat.  Try mixing in crumbly cheeses like feta, blue cheese, or halloumi in a fruit and/or vegetable salad.
  • Last minute guests? Select a hard, soft, and semi-soft cheese, crackers/bread, olives, and seasonal fruit.  Arrange on plates for an instant and easy appetizer spread.

The meal I made for this week’s #SundaySupper came from remembering a meal my mom made when I was growing up.  She called it popcorn soup, and served a big pot of soup along with a giant bowl of popcorn. It was so cool that we got to eat popcorn on our soup, that my sister and I gobbled it up. My mom later revealed to me the that while the soup tasted cheesy, she really blended in a lot of vegetables – and we never knew it! With a little big of creativity (popcorn) and a flavor we couldn’t resist (cheddar cheese) she successfully managed to fill us with vegetables.  Go Mom!

I have a feeling your family will love this recipe too.  One word of advice, let the soup cool a little bit before putting popcorn on top. If it’s too hot the popcorn will shrivel right up.

Mom's Popcorn Soup

#SundaySupper Cheddar Popcorn Soup for the #FamilyDinnerTable

Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 2 bags of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion diced

Instructions

  • In a large pot add 4 cups of broth and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
  • Add frozen vegetables, onion, and garlic to the boiling liquid. I use California Blend (carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli) but you can use any mix of vegetables you like. Cook until tender. .
  • Season with salt and pepper, adjusting as needed.
  • In a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender puree the soup until completely smooth.
  • Return to the heat, add 2 cups of milk and bring to the point where it just starts bubbling.
  • Mix in cheddar cheese until melted.
  • Serve in a big bowl, with plenty of popcorn to add on top.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/11/sundaysupper-cheddar-popcorn-soup-for-the-familydinnertable.html

American Family Insurance has started the #FamilyDinnerTable campaign to share their the belief that the next generation of dreamers starts at the family dinner table.  American Family has also creating an e-cookbook to inspire families to come back to the table. Be on the lookout for the e-cookbook later this fall. All next week #SundaySupper contributors will be sharing submitted recipes as a part of our #WeekdaySupper series.  I’ll be posting a great recipe tomorrow for Coke Chicken and Twice Baked Potatoes. To follow the other contributions and more great family meals follow American Family’s #FamilyDinnerTable board on Pinterest.

You can follow along as we join with American Family Insurance to share family recipes and stories through FacebookPinterest. YouTube and Twitter.

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST, and this week we are sharing Sunday Suppers that feature cheese, and tips as to how you can incorporate cheese into your family meals. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Check out these other great recipes using cheese!
Cheesy Recipes Perfect for Sunday Supper:

And don’t forget, our eCookbook featuring many of our favorite recipes will be coming out just in time for the Holidays.

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here ? Sunday Supper Movement.
AmFam Back To The Family Dinnertable Logo

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.

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Quick Persian Rice and Spiced Beef for a Middle Eastern #SundaySupper

Middle Eastern SundaySupperI have loved participating in #SundaySupper over the last year and have made so many awesome new blogging friends. Now, it’s finally my time to host this event.  What better topic for me than the theme of Middle Eastern food?  If you’ve followed my journey, you’ll know that before I met my husband I could barely cook American food let alone anything else.  Over time and exposure I have become adept at adapting traditional Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes for an American kitchen. There are so many delicious Middle Eastern foods but I feel a lot of people are overwhelmed by the use of spices and different cooking techniques.

One of the biggest reasons I love serving my guests Middle Eastern meals is because I believe food is the best form of diplomacy.  #SundaySupper is about bringing families to the dinner table.  I take it one step further and invite friends and neighbors to our Middle Eastern table. This invariably opens up conversations that many people would feel too uncomfortable to ask in public. Food is so powerful!  Today, I made a quick Persian style rice and spiced beef.  It’s a great weeknight dish when you don’t have a lot of time.

Quick Persian Rice and Beef

Quick Persian Rice and Spiced Beef for a Middle Eastern #SundaySupper

Ingredients

    For the Rice
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 cups dry instant white or brown rice
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • For the Beef
  • 1 lb beef cut into bite size pieces (I use an arm roast)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper (optional, can reduce to lower heat)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

    To Make the Beef
  • Slice beef into bite size cubes and place in a bowl or Ziploc bag.
  • Mix spices into the beef; turmeric, red pepper, salt, garlic, cumin, and ginger.
  • Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the meat and make a paste with the spices.
  • Place into the refrigerator and marinade at least 30 minutes but up to overnight.
  • To Make the Rice
  • In the bottom of a large pan, add just enough oil to coat the bottom.
  • Peel a potato and slice as thinly as possible.
  • Arrange the potato pieces in the bottom of the pan and cook until the bottom is crispy, then flip over to the other side of the potato.
  • Season the potatoes with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add 2 cups of dry rice and the amount of water the box specifies.
  • When rice is removed from the heat, place a tea towel between the lid and the top of the pot, place the lid back on and allow the water to absorb into the rice. The tea towel helps pull out the condensation making the rice more dry and fluffy.
  • Cooking the Beef
  • I love the spiced beef on the grill. To prepare thread skewers with meat and cook to the done-ness you like.
  • If it's too cold to grill or you don't have one,the meat can be cooked in a pan under the oven broiler or in a pan on the stovetop.
  • Take care not to overcook the meat because it will become too tough.
  • To Serve
  • Place a large platter, serving side down on top of the rice pan.
  • Invert the pan so that the crunchy potato bottom is on top.
  • Add the spiced beef to the top and serve with a green salad or other vegetable.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/11/quick-persian-rice-and-spiced-beef-for-a-middle-eastern-sundaysupper.html

Persian Beef and Rice

What’s everyone else making? There are some seriously delicious foods on the lineup this week.

Mezze {Appetizers}

Salata {Salads and Sides}

Main

Halwa {Desserts}

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter tonight (Sunday). We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by visiting the Sunday Supper Movement page.

Read more